Why do I say that? Because here is what he said (my emphasis):
“But it has never been the case that a €2billion bill is suddenly presented. I am not paying that bill on December 1. If people think I am, they have got another thing coming. It is not going to happen. We are not suddenly going to get out our chequebook and write a cheque for €2billion. We will challenge this in every way possible. There may indeed be legal action.”
So Cameron’s gripe is that the enormous bill was presented “suddenly”. He says he is not paying that bill, but qualifies his statement with “on December 1”. Thus, he has left himself an escape route which, if he is true to form, he will use.
PS: It is clear, from the Mail’s graph below, that by loading the majority of the budget increase onto a small minority of countries, the EU Commission is counting on there being no support amongst member states for Cameron’s ‘fight’ against it. The allocation has Britain so spectacularly out in front as the major contributor that it looks more like a snooker: the EU Commission is counting on there being next to no support for a Cameron bid for a rethink.
This should test Cameron’s mettle and EU leanings.